Friday, November 13, 2009

TZ Promo: "The Lonely" (11/13/1959)

“The Lonely” was the first Twilight Zone episode in the series’ regular production cycle (after the pilot “Where is Everybody?” was produced and successfully sold). However, as we discussed last week, episodes were almost never aired in the order they were shot. So while “The Lonely” was the second episode to be born, so to speak, it wasn’t presented until the 7th week into the show’s first season, on 11/13/59 (50 years ago today).

The episode was the first of several to be filmed in Death Valley. Here, the location is convincing as an asteroid far out in space, on which convicted murderer James Corey (well played by Jack Warden) is living out his life sentence. It’s a miserable, lonely existence, only periodically brightened by visits from a supply ship from earth. Allenby, the ship’s captain, believes Corey was wrongfully convicted, and sympathizes with his loneliness. He brings Corey a gift that just might end his loneliness forever. It’s a gift that could only come from… well, you know where.

The show also features the inimitable Ted Knight in a minor role as Allenby’s subordinate Adams, who is every bit as cocky and smart-assed as Ted Baxter, the role that would later make him famous on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Written by Rod Serling and directed by Jack Smight, “The Lonely” features a moody and alien score by Bernard Herrmann, composed especially for this episode. In fact, Herrmann even composed a variation on the show’s theme music using the same instrumentation as the score, which was used in the episode’s original airing… and subsequently changed to the standard opening theme for syndication. The version included on the Definitive Edition DVD restores this original variant theme which, for TZ music nuts like me, is cause for celebration.


Goonie said...

Craig - sorry to do it this way, but I couldn't find an email addy for you. Since you are a TZ fan, I thought I'd pass along a couple promos I just completed for our annual Twilight Zone Marathon...  KTLA 5 in LA is well-known for our marathon, and I wanted to give it the respect it deserves.  These were even OK'd by Carol Serling!

Craig Beam said...

My God, those were absolutely BEAUTIFUL. If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to post the links in an upcoming blog entry. Oh, and my email address is: